Miramar Theater Renovation Study Launched

The San Clemente City Council hired a contractor to analyze the structural integrity and historical features of the ramshackle building in North Beach, the first step in renovating it.

(Updated 8:20 p.m. Nov. 8)

The rickety Miramar Theater may be on its way to renovation thanks to a study set to figure out how damaged the building is and what historical features need saving.

The San Clemente City Council Thursday awarded a $28,000 contract to consultant Westlake Reed and Leskosky.

The firm has consulted on more than 100 historic theaters.

"It shows the city is being pro active," said Mayor Jim Evert. "I think there's a serious move to make something happen there."

Funding for the report comes from a $20,000 state grant and the city. The study will help owner Marc Spizzirri figure out what he can and can't do in his planned renovation. Even if Spizzirri's vision falls through, city officials said the study will be useful for future owners.

Spizzirri said this fall he plans to keep the theater's purpose intact.

"I can tell you I fully intend to restore the theater as a theater and save its original use," Spizzirri added.

Installing retractable seating would allow the Miramar to host local plays, school plays, bands, corporate events and other community events, Spizzirri said.

The new study will dovetail with another that has been done by the city focusing on just the structural condition of the building, officials said Thursday.

Raad Ghantous November 09, 2012 at 05:14 PM
These pictures were taken during a onsite walk through of the Miramar Theater in San Clemente on 5/20/2010 when the property was put on the market briefly by the current owner Mark Spizzirri. The images document the condition of the building and some of the original 1938 decorative murals, sconces, hanging lamps and Moorish archways that flank the stage in the main auditorium space. The effects of the fire of a few years back seems to have been limited to the front lobby part where the concession and ticketing areas might have been. Also, in one of the pictures one can even see the words 'Reinforced Concrete' written in blue chalk! In the same area, which looks to be, the projection room there can be seen what looks like exposed rebar and structural metal in the main wall of the theater; The wall separating the lobby and upper level projection room from the main auditorium. All this physical evidence and the FACT that the Miramar Theater was build after the Long Beach Earthquake of 1933 means that the building is NOT a brick buildings with unreinforced masonry walls as a previous owner tried to claim in an attempt to declare the building unsound and secure a demolition permit!
Raad Ghantous November 09, 2012 at 05:14 PM
After the 1933 Long Beach earthquake, and due largely to the efforts of California Assembly Member, Charles Field a new law, known as the Field Act was passed on April 10, 1933 that mandated earthquake resistant construction, This lead to the 1935 version of the UBC(Universal Building Code) providing a formula for calculating lateral earthquake forces which new buildings going forward HAD to resist! What this means is that most likely in order to comply with the new at that time regulations the Miramar was built to the structural soundness requirements of its day!!
Raad Ghantous November 09, 2012 at 05:15 PM
opps sorry here is the link to the pictures >>> https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.508653189154025.120709.284523758233637&type=1
Adam Townsend November 09, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Wow, Thanks for all that great info, Raad!
Raad Ghantous November 10, 2012 at 01:20 AM
your welcome Adam plenty more where that came from :)


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